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Fifth string capo

23 Apr 08 - 05:05 PM (#2323561)
Subject: Fifth string capo
From: MARINER

I recently went to buy a 5th string capo for my ,lefthanded 5 string banjo.The man at the shop who was to fit it for me said he had great difficulty doing it ,as all the capos he had were for right handed banjos.Is there a difference between left and right handed 5th string capos ?? Or is he taking the mickey ??.And if there is a difference where can i get one specifically for a left hander ??


23 Apr 08 - 05:15 PM (#2323571)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers

MARINER - Make your own !! The Factory jobbies dont work upside down or back to front , so get some thin metal strip ( A heavy Duty Carton Staple works) , bend to fit round the neck in TWO pieces with an elastic band as tensioner ! About a qarter inch is enough to fret the fifth string , and just enough at the other end to hold it in place !
I am away from home at the moment , but have a diagram I can E mail when I get back to U K ! PM me your E mail address and I will send it off !!


23 Apr 08 - 05:54 PM (#2323620)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck

I suspect the way they are sprung is based on holding the string as it would be found on a right handed instrument.
When I needed a capo, I didn't want to screw something into a vintage banjo neck. I made one using a bent (pointed end) paper clip hooked over the string, heavy nylon fishing line tied so it runs under the strings and down under the neck where it is attached (stitched through) to velcro. At the other end of the paper clip, a short piece of clothing elastic for tension and the other end of the velcro, to fasten the whole thing firmly. The combination of velcro and elastic allows it to fasten firmly at different widths of neck when capoing higher or lower.
Where the back of the paper clip might dig into the sid of the banjo neck, I wraped and stitched an offcut of vinyl fabric which I had used to make a banjo carrying case following the "sling" design in Pete Seeger's How to play 5-string banjo book.
The design has worked well for over 20 years. I ave replaced fishing line and nylon a couple of times.
Quack!
GtD.


23 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM (#2323624)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: deadfrett

M- I've used HO railroad spikes for about 30 yrs now. They work great and are inexpensive. Check out a banjo repair book for instalation tips. Dave


23 Apr 08 - 07:29 PM (#2323692)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

A Dunlop sliding fifth string cap doesn't care what side it is on.

don


24 Apr 08 - 05:03 AM (#2323994)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Mr Happy

My pal Jim, who's a architect, uses an old fashioned drawing board clip.

It's sprung, so holds tension well


24 Apr 08 - 05:54 AM (#2324043)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: BanjoRay

A Shubb 5th string capo doesn't care which side it's on either.
I used to use Mr Happy's drawing board clip years ago, but they don't always fit properly (depends on the banjo), and they're a bit intrusive on the neck.
HO railroad spikes are very good - care needed when you insert them. These days I don't bother - Tunes in A and D can be played just by tuning the fifth string up to A. My fith strings been going up and down like a bride's nighty for years without breaking strings.
Cheers
Ray


24 Apr 08 - 07:48 AM (#2324120)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: kendall

Leadfingers introduced me to his contraption when I borrowed his banjo, and it worked well.


24 Apr 08 - 03:24 PM (#2324603)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim

Here's another vote for HO guage spikes. I have them at 2 and 4.


24 Apr 08 - 03:32 PM (#2324612)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble

The HO gauge railway spikes work fine but they are now hard to find. You do not want the ones with round heads. You want the old style with the off-set head so you can tuck the 5th string under it. If you'd like a dozen or so, I still have several hundred of the little suckers. PM me and I'll mail them out to you (US only) for a dollar. Off course, the postal department may not like sharp metal objects being sent through the mail but I generally surround them with masking tape.

Some further words of caution, pre-drill before hammering the spikes in, and don't hammer them in with a sledgehammer.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


29 Apr 08 - 04:25 PM (#2328999)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim

I also use a spike in place of a pip (fifth string nut) The advantage is that it uses the fifth fret as a nut and you don't have to retune (as much) when you capo the fifth string. Often the pips are placed behind the fret and your string will go sharp when you capo it.

I hope you can understand this.


30 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM (#2329963)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: MARINER

Thanks folks, I will absorb all your advice in time(busy right now)but I have to admit that ,so far,some of it confuses me ,a raw beginner .


30 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM (#2330127)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Maryrrf

I can also vouch for Leadfinger's invention - he made some 5th string banjo capos for me using the innards of a windshield wiper!


01 May 08 - 07:10 AM (#2330439)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: banjoman

Have alook at the new elastic fifth string capo on ebay. I bought one and was really pleased at how good it is. As a banjo builder I ahave always been reluctan to drill holes in any banjo that arn't needed and this really solves that problem - no drilling or nasty holes in the fretboard


01 May 08 - 07:55 AM (#2330460)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck

Can you provide a link to that? All I found were mandoline size capos for the other 4 strings.
Quack!
GtD.


01 May 08 - 08:24 AM (#2330479)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,redhorse at work

when I googled "elastic fifth string capo" I came back to this page!

However I also found this Earl's fifth String Capo at Elderly. Is this the one you mean Banjoman?

nick


01 May 08 - 11:22 AM (#2330646)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim

I've also had luck with the Reagan fifth string capo. Yau can see it to the right of Earl's fifth string capo if you click on GUEST,redhorse at work's blue clicky. This is very cheap and simple and it doesn't mar the banjo in any way. I keep a couple around to lend to students who haven't had their spikes installed yet.


01 May 08 - 12:27 PM (#2330705)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: goatfell

Lead fingers a Jobbie is a word for shit


01 May 08 - 09:49 PM (#2331148)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Steve Latimer

The Railroad spikes are also available on the same page, just under the Reagan.


05 Jun 08 - 04:06 AM (#2357954)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck

Refresh - because somone is looking for this thread

Quack!
GtD.


05 Jun 08 - 09:04 AM (#2358198)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,TIA

Thanks GtD. I ordered an Earl's and a Reagan to try before I make any holes in my baby.


05 Jun 08 - 10:25 AM (#2358258)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Mark Clark

I know several players who use the Reagan 5th String Removeable Capo available from Janet Davis Music. This just slips over your fifth string and sits right on any particular fret. You tighten the screw to lock it in place or remove it and put it in your pocket when not wanted.

Banjo players are, to a man, well known as gadget freaks. I get to play with some world class banjo players and they've tried every 5th string capo known to man. Most of them have now abandoned 5th string capos entirely in favor of spikes.

Have the spikes installed at the shop that does your repairs and setups. The shop where I occasionally work charges $3.00 (USD) per spike. We take great pains to protect the instrument, get them all lined up properly, and make sure the clearance is correct for the strings you use. If you expect to play any bluegrass style banjo, get pegs installed at 2, 3, 4 & 5 since you'll need those for all the keys you'll be using. If you're certain you'll only be playing old-timey music, you can get by with pegs at 2 and 4 (add one at 3 if you play in F using a D tuning).

      - Mark


10 Jun 08 - 07:11 AM (#2362166)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: banjoman

Has anybody tried the "Eagle Claw" fifth string capo?
I bought this system a while ago and although it worked, it needed a bit of modification to the fifth string tuner and was always a bit awkward as it consisted of five different lengths of wire that hooke around the tuner peg.
It did work, but not a patch on the earls capo


10 Jun 08 - 09:48 AM (#2362251)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: fretless

Another vote for the HO spikes.


10 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM (#2362393)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble

I still favor the HO spikes, the old style with the off-set heads. The new round-head HO spikes don't work.

I guess I really don't like to install what I consider garish hardware on a banjo neck, even if it functions well.

I usually install three spikes: at the 7th, 10th, and 12th frets. But it all depends on what major keys you prefer to play in or sing. Most of my instrumental work is done out of the C or F position with the 2nd string tuned up half a tone. I used to play with contradance bands and most of their tunes were in G, D, or A and if I capoed to the 2nd fret I could do quick changes without retuning the 5th string; well, I did have to retune the 2nd string to play an open A. The net result made life easier for me.

And after I left the contradance scene I found the tuning was useful for singing as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


10 Jun 08 - 02:43 PM (#2362499)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: DonMeixner

I have used most types available to me. The spikes are probably the best but you haven't truly lived untill you've shredded a finger tip on a spike by accident. It ranks up there with running the bitter end of a 5th string under a fingernail.

On a work horse like my Ode I'll stick with my sliding capo. It is fast and dependable and it doesn't hurt.

D


10 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM (#2362636)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Stringsinger

I use a Shubb which works well on my RB175 longneck. I also use the Reagan capo when
I want to play higher up the neck where the frets are closer together. This is good for
intricate clawhammer.

I have found that the spikes don't hold well if you play with force. The Shubb has no trouble keeping the string down with it's screw apparatus.


10 Jun 08 - 08:05 PM (#2362799)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble

It's true that sometimes the railroad spikes don't hold well and a string pops out.

It doesn't happen often the way I play but when it does, the moment is memorable.

Of course I used to break a lot of 5th strings and that problem is minimized with either kind of 5th string capo.

Charley Noble


25 Jun 08 - 12:17 AM (#2373767)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,TIA

Following all the excellent advice above, I got and Earl's and a Reagan and a Shubb. I like the Earl's way better than the Reagan (requires no - or little - tuning when moved). I haven't gotten up the nerve to put the Shubb on (or even have it done by a pro)... I'am afraid to put any holes at all in the old feller.


25 Jun 08 - 08:07 AM (#2373890)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,redhorse at work

Just got my Earl's.
Works fine (even thought it doesn't look like it's fretting the string properly)on both my SS Stewart and my Wildwood, neither of which I wanted to drill or stick pins in! Also takes up practically no space in my pick tin

nick


18 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM (#2417095)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer

I don't think I'd ever seen this inexpensive option mentioned here before: cap-o.

~ Becky in Tucson


18 Aug 08 - 04:01 PM (#2417156)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers

That IS a neat option but would probably require a string retune each time you moved it !


18 Aug 08 - 08:51 PM (#2417372)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble

Becky-

Interesting!

But blue clashes with my banjo!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


18 Aug 08 - 09:41 PM (#2417397)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer

But Charley, that's the beauty of this one -- there are several color options!

~ B in T


18 Aug 08 - 09:50 PM (#2417404)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: olddude

I just tried it with my old cheapo one
it really work well. Thanks Becky

by the way, about a month ago I got my first stabbed under the nail from spike on my good banjo. Don has a way of understating it ! Dang thing still hurts ... and it is a special burning kind of throb


24 Aug 08 - 06:26 PM (#2421439)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck

Becky - it looks like a brilliant idea. I particularly like the idea of a range of colours to suit the mood of the song you are accompanying.
I will have a play with the idea.
Quack!
GtD.


07 Jun 10 - 02:26 AM (#2922154)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer

Now available on E-Bay! click

(!)

~ Becky in Tucson


07 Jun 10 - 04:04 AM (#2922177)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers

A Professionally turned out Pen Top Capo ! For £4 plus postage ! Take a pen top and make your own ! Or ask me for info on the home made ones I use ! PM your E Mail and I will send the plans !


07 Jun 10 - 08:02 AM (#2922279)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Bob the Postman

For pen-top DIY, see link in Becky's 18 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM post above.


07 Jun 10 - 11:42 AM (#2922401)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer

Leadfingers, where's your entrepeneurial spirit? Shouldn't those plans be available for £2.99 ??


07 Jun 10 - 06:47 PM (#2922695)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers

Becky - IF it was my own design maybe , but as I cant remember who showed me the idea Forty years ago , it would NOT be the done thing !


07 Jun 10 - 09:12 PM (#2922778)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer

(Just to be clear, I think anybody who'd need to pay for plans -- i.e. could not figure it out from the pics I linked a couple of years ago -- shouldn't be trusted with a hacksaw and should go ahead and pay the £4 plus postage to anyone who's capable of cutting a cap for them. I think it's pretty funny that someone's actually listing pre-made ones on E-bay. Wonder if they'll get any sales.)

(And in full disclosure, I saw the E-bay link on www.banjohangout.org.)

8-|

~ Becky in Tucson


08 Jun 10 - 06:48 AM (#2922941)
Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers

I had a PM from tubaphone over a year ago asking for details , but they didnt give an E mail and I cant download to a P M !